September 22, 2014

Structure of new Omer library complete, needs more funding

Kevin Drescher
Omer City Council member James Steward, Library Committee Member Revia Stewart, Omer Librarian Charmaine Ploof, and City Council Member Robin Berry stand in front of the future location of the Omer Library on Friday, May 14, 2010. Though the construction has started, the library needs more funding to be completely finished.
Kevin Drescher
The current Omer Library still stands in the foreground.
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OMER—For quite a while a new library for the city of Omer has been only a fictional story.

Now that story is slowly turning the page.

Thanks to the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribal Council and their annual release of their 2 percent class three gaming revenue, that equaled $50,000, the Omer Library Committee was able to complete the structural building.

Now the committee is almost out of money, and is asking for help.

“If it wasn’t for the Tribal Council, we would have never did what we did with phase one,” said Committee member and Omer City Council member Robin Berry about the construction of the outer structure. “Donations will be 100 percent towards the library. We would like to take donations from anyone.”

Since the current library has been in a small trailer since the 1980s, the committee has been looking at ways to construct a new library.

“We started a while ago trying to get a new library,” said Berry. “Because the old (one) is in pretty bad shape.”

With their current library inside of a small trailer, town librarian Charmaine Ploof said that it is time for a new library.

With the library almost tripling in size, the new library will offer not only more books, but also more computers as the number of stations will double from two to four when the project is complete.

18-year librarian Charmaine Ploof also said that open space the structure will offer is welcome.

“Now I am pressed for space of books. What the new library opens up is that I think we’ll have a great deal of open space,” she said. “It’s going to give them more entertainment possibilities and more educational possibilities.”

The construction of the library is currently planned to take three to four phases, with the outside structure being phase one, followed by individual electrical, water, and heating phases in no particular order.

However, according to Berry, the phases could be combined depending on how much people donate.

Fellow committee member James Steward also said that he expects the construction of the outer structure of the library to be finished in the next week.

A worker was putting up the vinyl siding of the building Friday afternoon.

When finished, the addition will have a dark blue roof and gray vinyl siding and will be 26 by 72 feet in size, giving much more space for education and learning.

Though she is happy to move into a new building in the future, Ploof said that the small but old building served the city well.

“It served the people well,” she said. “A library in any city is always a positive thing.”

When 15-year Omer citizen and current library committee member Revia Stewart found out that the Tribe awarded the money, Stewart couldn’t hold the excitement to herself.

“The minute I found out that we got the grant I ran over and told ‘Charm,’ she said. “I love Omer!”

Though the committee is working hard on the project, Berry said that a lot of the credit for the grant goes to Omer City Mayor Alice Sproule, since she was the one who applied for the grant at the last second.

“If it wasn’t for her we wouldn’t have gotten the grant,” he said. “She did a nice job presenting for the grant.”

To donate to the library, drop off a donation or mail it to Omer City Hall at 201 Center, P.O. Box 160, Omer, Mich., 48749, attention library fund.

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